Category Archives: Sculpting the Common/Sculpter le common


A lexicon for projects addressing the public sphere:

As each of the resulting projects and texts of the participants offer ideas and terminologies which themselves have long tendrils, this lexicon will offer a repository for those terms to be usefully unpacked and expanded upon.
I am unsure if it should be alphabetical or in true blog tradition temporally structured. My inclination is, time of entry marks time of reception for the author, in both a useful and poetic way intertwined so will begin with this idea.

“I am who I am because of who we all are.”

Marjetica Potrč will be presenting, “The Soweto Project: Ubuntu Park” as part of the panel,
SCULPTING THE COMMON alongside Nadia Myre, and Romeo Gongora.

The name for the park, Ubuntu, is not the name of a person or corporation as is so common in the naming of so called public spaces, but the name of an idea, even perhaps a worldview, shared throughout the African continent and central to the construction of a commons. “Ubuntu asserts that society, not a transcendent being, gives human beings their humanity.”

“ ‘A person is a person through other people’ strikes an affirmation of one’s humanity through recognition of an ‘other’ in his or her uniqueness and difference. It is a demand for a creative intersubjective formation in which the ‘other’ becomes a mirror (but only a mirror) for my subjectivity. This idealism suggests to us that humanity is not embedded in my person solely as an individual; my humanity is co-substantively bestowed upon the other and me. Humanity is a quality we owe to each other. We create each other and need to sustain this otherness creation. And if we belong to each other, we participate in our creations: we are because you are, and since you are, definitely I am. The ‘I am’ is not a rigid subject, but a dynamic self-constitution dependent on this otherness creation of relation and distance”.

Michael Onyebuchi Eze, Intellectual History in Contemporary South Africa, pp. 190–191

This suggests the necessity of a public sphere in the comprehension of another being. This does not preclude that we share a common sphere but acknowledges that even that difference will provide one’s sense of being.